LEADING OFF: Strasburg back in top form; A's ace Gray starts
A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:
BACK IN FORM
Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg tries to build off a dominant return from a month-plus stint on the disabled list. In his first start back, the 27-year-old set a season high with 12 strikeouts over seven innings, topping his previous best of nine. He has a 4.76 ERA in 14 starts this season - more than 1 1/2 runs worse than his career ERA. The Nationals kick off a four-game series at San Francisco, which will send out Ryan Vogelsong.
The Athletics are in last place in the AL West, but they're 15-7 on days when Sonny Gray (12-4) starts, including four straight victories and wins in six of his past seven outings. Oakland faces the surging Blue Jays and Mark Buehrle (12-5), who is 6-1 in his past 12 starts.
In a matchup of touted rookies, Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler (3-9, 5.50 ERA) faces Noah Syndergaard (6-6, 3.01) and the Mets in the finale of a four-game series at Citi Field. Syndergaard has impressed at home, where he is 6-1 with a 1.57 ERA in eight starts while compiling 60 strikeouts and only six walks. Butler has struggled overall, going 0-3 with a 7.29 ERA in four outings since getting recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on July 19. ''He's got the weapons. It's a matter of just becoming more polished as a pitcher,'' Colorado manager Walt Weiss said.
LIKE AN ACE
Jon Lester (7-8) is on a roll for the Cubs. He's gone at least seven innings in each of his last seven starts and has allowed two or fewer runs in six. Tyler Cravy makes his fourth career start for Milwaukee.